November has come to Western New York with a cold rainy acerbity, and I feel almost as if my countenance is to blame. To be sure, I’ve felt like I’m living beneath a grey sodden blanket of my own.
October was Infertility and Loss Awareness month, so I suppose this post is a few days too late; but then I never have been accused of being trendy.
Infertility and Loss Awareness. What does that even mean? What point is there to being aware of loss? I couldn’t say. Other than, perhaps, it is our attempt as a whole to feel understood.
We all have a story to tell, and I suppose that when we set aside time to create an awareness what we’re really doing is setting a stage where our story can be told. We want to be heard. To be understood. Maybe because in feeling understood we find it’s a doorway to feeling loved. And when we suffer, when we hurt, all we want is to be caught up in a love so rich that it will somehow dull the incessantly throbbing ache.
Since my twins were a little over a year I knew that I was done. No more kids for me, no how, no way. I thought it would be a miracle if we made it out of infanthood unscathed. As luck would have it we did. But the days were still long, and while there was unspeakable joy and delight, those moments percolated the nearly unbearably long stretches of physical and mental assault that is motherhood. Chandeliers were being pulled from the ceiling, poop was *still* being painted like a Monet on bedroom walls. No, no more kids, thankyouverymuch. We were so sure of it that we even decided to take more permanent measures to ensure it. As it turned out I had some cysts that needed to be taken care of, so to tie things off permanently would be easy.
A few days before, though, I found myself stuck in a mire of doubt. Something had been changing over those past months. The ones that crept towards a 4th birthday. I’d discovered that my babies had begun to really grow. They walk with me at stores now. They eat their own meals. The dress themselves. They even know how to turn on their own movies. It felt like the dust had begun to settle, and as the air cleared I heard the faintest breath of a whisper “maybe I could do this again”. And that was enough for me to call off the procedure. I would just take care of the cysts and we would talk about it from there.
But it was too late. Those cysts had overtaken more than their fair share, and on May 23rd the numbing effects of the anesthesia were replaced by the shock of the news that I would not, in fact, be doing this again. That chance was gone now.
And I am still grieving.
And I feel so misunderstood.
It’s so easy to say “but you should be thankful you have kids at all!” as though lives and children are somehow interchangeable. As though mourning loss means you cannot simultaneously celebrate life.
“But you didn’t even want any more!” This one stings. Partially because I did believe that, and partially because it’s being used to somehow extenuate the significance of something I’m feeling so pointedly.
It’s true. My trenches ran a little deeper, a little wider, and a little further than most. Maybe because the battles were always twice as hard. The nights twice as long. The hills twice as steep. Maybe because I was emotionally depleted from spending the first few years of my childrens’ lives worrying about significant health issues. Maybe my recovery time was longer than most.
But that was then, and my dawn is finally here. And it’s come with rain.
My heart is overwhelmed by a desire that my body will never see come to fruition, and it is broken.
I keep asking myself what the point is in writing this. What will it change? What am I hoping to accomplish?
The honest answer is – nothing.
I think maybe I just want to be heard. Maybe I just want to be understood – because in feeling understood we find it’s a doorway to feeling loved. And in the middle of a harrowing storm, where my brokenness is exposed, all I want is to be caught up in love.